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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thunderstorm delayed Delta planes on tarmac

Three Delta Air Lines flights were stuck on the tarmac in Atlanta for more than three hours in the month of April, according to the latest federal report on airline performance.

The three flights affected were all on April 27, to Salt Lake City; Ontario, Calif. and Fort Lauderdale, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics report said. Delta spokesman Anthony Black said two of the flights were planning to return to the gate after two hours, but lightning on the ramp prevented them from getting the aircraft back. The third flight was stuck due to a delay in air traffic control dispatching the aircraft in front of it, he said.
A new federal rule went into effect a year earlier prohibiting lengthy tarmac delays except under certain circumstances, such as when certain safety or air traffic control issues arise. In the past year, the April incidents amounted to the highest number of tarmac delays that Delta has had in a single month.
Delta's tarmac delays made up three of the four lengthy tarmac delays on all U.S. airlines in April. The fourth was on United Airlines at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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